Addiction is a serious disease that not only affects the addict, but also their loved ones. If you have a loved one who is struggling with addiction, it can be difficult to know how to help them. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you support your loved one through their journey to recovery.
Educate Yourself About Addiction and Recovery
The more you know about addiction and recovery, the better equipped you will be to help your loved one. There is a lot of misinformation out there about addiction, so it is important to do your research and educate yourself on the facts. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is a great resource for accurate information on drug abuse and addiction.
Be Supportive, But Don’t Enable
It is important to be supportive of your loved one, but you also need to set boundaries. Enablement is when you enable someone’s bad behavior by doing things that make it easier for them to continue using drugs or alcohol. For example, if you give them money knowing that they will use it to buy drugs, that is enabling their behavior. It is important to be supportive without enabling their addiction.
Help Them Find Resources and Treatment Options
If your loved one is ready to get help for their addiction, there are many resources available to them. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has a National Helpline that can connect your loved one with addiction recovery treatment options in their area.
Take Care of Yourself
It is important to take care of yourself while you are helping your loved one through their addiction. Caring for someone with an addiction can be emotionally and mentally draining. Make sure to take time for yourself and do things that make you happy and help you relax. Reach out to friends and family members for support and advice when needed. Taking care of yourself will help you be better equipped to take care of your loved one.
If you have a loved one who is struggling with addiction, it can be difficult to know how to help them. However, by educating yourself about addiction and recovery, being supportive without enabling their behavior, and helping them find resources and treatment options, you can make a positive difference in their life as they work towards recovery. Remember to take care of yourself during this process as well.
Written by: Emma Sturgis
About the author: Emma is a freelance writer based out of Boston, MA. She writes most often on health and education. When not writing, she enjoys reading and watching film noir. Say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2.